Pakistan’s top court likely to rule on Khan ouster Thursday
Pakistan’s top court could rule on Thursday on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s move to block an opposition attempt to oust him, a step his critics say is unconstitutional and has touched off political turmoil, Reuters reports.
Khan, a former cricket star, lost his parliamentary majority last week and had faced a no-confidence vote tabled by the opposition that he was expected to lose on Sunday.
But the deputy speaker of parliament, a member of Khan’s party, threw out the motion, ruling it was part of a foreign conspiracy and unconstitutional. Khan then dissolved parliament.
The stand-off has thrown the nuclear-armed country of 220 million people, ruled by the military for extended periods since independence in 1947, into a full-blown constitutional crisis.
The opposition has challenged the decision to block the vote in the Supreme Court, which began deliberating the case on Monday. On Wednesday, lawyers for Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party launched their defence.
Ali Zafar, a lawyer for President Arif Alvi who is a party ally of Khan, said the court should not involve itself in parliamentary procedure.
“My humble submission would be that if your lordships start monitoring parliamentary affairs, there would be no end to that,” he told the panel of five judges.
The Supreme Court will reconvene on Thursday at around 9:30 am (0430 GMT). Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said on Wednesday he wanted to wrap up the hearings. “Let’s start early from tomorrow to conclude the case,” he said.